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Three middle school teachers and their guests share what it's really like to be in a classroom today, how policies affect teaching and students, and what teachers actually think would work better. Listen in to their off the cuff, unscripted discussions, debates, and sometimes, plain silliness as they discuss today's biggest issues facing schools. Here's a look at some of the topics to be covered

  • Why do teachers quit and how this affects the classroom and quality of our schools
  • What do grades really mean? What should parents know about how their children are graded?
  • Should special education students be integrated in mainstream classrooms? What does that look like and what are some of the benefits and issues.
  • How do schools handle issues with discipline? What does it look and feel like from a teacher's perspective. What does a Vice Principal do anyway?
  • Do universities really prepare teachers for the classroom? What a prospective teacher should know before sinking money into a college loan.
  • What's the deal with state testing? Does it serve a purpose? Who writes those test questions anyway?
  • Catch up on all of the Transparency in Teaching Episodes!

Grade This!

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Do grades even matter? In this episode we start with a little about the history, the how and the why, of grading. (Did you know that grades were originally A, B, C, D and E?? Where did F come in?).  Then we talk about grading practices used today and how they affect our students. We debate methods like percentage based, standards based, and narrative grading and how they might be implemented in real classrooms (How logical is narrative grading when many of us have 150+ students??). What do we wish parents really knew about grading and how to help their kids. Finally, we discuss what grading would look like if were lived in Utopia Land.I

We talk about:
  • the subjectivity of grading,
  • implicit bias,
  • the varied ways teachers choose to grade
  • grading’s effect on student motivation
  • the lack of any training in how to grade
  • what we wish parents knew about grading.
Ultimately, we come to the conclusion that there is no conclusion about grading.
What’s your take on this topic? Leave us a comment and add to the discussion.
Leave Voice Comments here,  or visit our website at to find links to resources and other materials (read Anne's Rant on grading) for this episode.
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